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Statistically, Dunedin is New Zealand's worst city for
motor vehicle crashes and casualties but authorities say the
numbers are dropping.
The Dunedin City Council says it has done all it can to
improve the city's intersections, which are the main
Dunedin's poor record has emerged from a report released this
week by the Ministry of Transport - ''Motor vehicle crashes
in New Zealand 2011'' - which compiled data taken from
reports by police who attended fatal and injury crashes.
The report includes crashes and casualties by population
centre. Dunedin recorded the highest proportion of crash
casualties per head of population of all cities.
Last year, the city recorded 364 injury crashes, placing it
third behind the larger centres of Auckland (2903) and
However, Dunedin had 29 crashes per 10,000 citizens, placing
it ahead of Palmerston North (24) and Napier (23).
The same year, the city also recorded the highest number of
casualties per 10,000 people (38) ahead of Napier (31),
Palmerston North (28) and Hamilton (26).
In 2011 there were four fatal crashes in Dunedin, the lowest
of the main centres. The city also recorded the third highest
number of total injuries (470) behind Auckland (3685) and
Dunedin City Council senior traffic engineer Ron Minnema said
the accident rate was reducing and that about half of the
city's crashes occurred at intersections.
''We have done some major upgrade of high-risk intersections
and technically, we have done as much as we can ... now it is
up to the road user to be patient and do what they should be
doing; don't jaywalk; turn when you are supposed to, and
don't go through orange lights.''
In addition Dunedin had ''unique climatic conditions,'' and
was over-represented in some areas, such as the number of
young people who chose to study in the city.
A New Zealand Transport Association road safety report
2006-10 was presented to the council's infrastructure
services committee, which showed accident and casualty rates
in the city were reducing.
Southern District Road Policing Manager Inspector Andrew
Burns said ''One of the contributing factors to the higher
figures for Dunedin is that there is a greater level of
compliance for crash reporting and every crash is
''Police gather as much information on crashes as we can so
that we can task our staff to the places of highest risk.
''With this approach, we have seen that crashes have been
Clutha and Southland districts recorded a high number of
crashes per 10,000 people - 46 and 48 respectively, followed
by Waitaki (39) and Queenstown-Lakes (30).
Nationally there were 259 fatal road crashes, 9545 injury
crashes, 284 deaths, and a total of 12,574 people injured in
motor vehicle accidents last year.